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carlcarlsson 04-12-2005 08:54 PM

Went car shopping....
Yep our trusty Saab finally bought the farm, run over by some careless woman driving here huge, planet destroying Suburban. That poor car had been in 3 accidents in so many years, it just wasn't meant to be I guess. The good news (sorta) means we get to go car shopping, well I'll give you the Readers Digest version of all this. We tried a handfull of cars, we are somewhat limited because neither of us drive automatics, just wont happen so no domestics, and virtualy no asian cars, that leaves european. Car #1 was a used Audi A4, not bad,#2 was a new Mini Cooper, loaded but non- S ,nimble and very cool but way underpowered and a lousy highway car (very loud exhaust boom, engine was screaming @ 70mph)..oh and super expensive $21k!Our 3rd car was an 01 GTI 1.8t, ok but vague steering, not much power, no head room, screems on the highway 3800@ 70-80mph, no thanks#4 was an 01 Audi S4 twin turbo rocket..yes it was very nice, very impressive build quality overall very good#5 was a 98 BMW 540i, 6spd, 4.4 literv8, very nice engine with lusty v8 sound effects, after moderate beating decided it just handly too poorly, tons of lean through the corners, equally soft and vague steering ( the steering wheel was gigantic looked as though it was ripped from a school bus)#6 was an 02 Mercedes c230 Kompressor coupe, well made with good attention to detail, but it had very little interior room, I could not sit up straight and I did not care for the seats, supercharged engine was peppy and smooth ,6spd tranny was very good but the car was just not as solid as the Audi. When we were all done we made a startling discovery, my humble 01 ZX3 was superior in most ways to almost all of these cars!!! I kid you not, we would drive to each car in the Focus and then after trying it would get back in and say " Wow, that car wasn't any better than this cheap thing, huh." I won't get into all the details just suffice to say the Ford Focus, especially the ZX3 is an increadable bargain, I have owned over 25 different european cars over the past 15 years and I believe the focus is just about the finest car I have ever owned, I think its only weakness is its build quality which is just so-so and will probably become more of a factor as the car gets older but for now I love it! BTW the only reason we did not consider another focus was because of the cheesy cutness factor (his & hers foci) I did not have a problem but my fiance did, yeeesh, oh and we decided to go with the Audi S4, how could we pass on one of the fastest production sedans in the world, 0-60= 5.9 secounds.!

TheGeak 04-12-2005 09:05 PM

my only word of advice, keep ON TOP of audi maintenance. Those S4 engines had been known for eating up everything rubber inside of it. Congrats on the car though, they are truely a BEAUTIFUL machine! I agree with the 540 comment, the E39 design was a bit of a PIG, nothing like the older more nimble 5 series. As for the Mini, i heard it maxes out at 90mph due to redlining. Unless of course you get the S series John Cooper edition :) Well, enjoy the car! Can't beat german engineering!

W~Phoenix~{RC} 04-12-2005 09:07 PM

Nice story. Congrats on the Focus [thumb] Don't forget to take it into a dealer and see if there are any recalls or TSB's for your ride. I know that there were a few recalls that ought to be taken care of. Happy modding and [welcome] to the forums.


SVT03 04-13-2005 12:13 AM

Foci suck balls. Worst cars in the world

carlcarlsson 04-13-2005 08:24 AM

Yeah I have heard some horror stories about the Focus, seems the svt has had a lot of little problems, it was a very ambitious design. Untill recently I worked as a mechanic and to be honest if you can find a car that is mostly trouble free for the first 75k you'r doing very good. To make a sort of blanket statement they all have problems, particularly domestic cars. I was ( and still am) VERY leary of buying the Audi S4 I honestly cannot conceive of a more complex, sophisticated car choice but Rachel loves it(she has become addicted to speed I think,she has life insurance so I should be all set), she knows I have no desire to service this car,she has been duely warned[}:)] . I have owned a couple of Maserati Bi turbos and am not eager to bring any more turbos into the fold, I already have 1 tempermental XR4Ti and thats enough. The Mini was disapointing in quite a few ways, it was well built but the interior made use of some very cheap plastic, I mean not even focus grade. The pleather seats were rather flat, lacked lower back support and did not hold you in place very well, and of coarse the 1.6 liter is just a joke, it has no place in a modern production car, the current 2.3 found in the focus seems like a monsterous powerplant, good for removing unwanted hemlocks and tree stumps, infinitely more flexable.Then there is the price $21k for a leftover 2004, 3x the cost of my 01 zx3 ($6500 4 months ago), funny I think msrp on a loaded 05 is like $18k.

DrkKnight614 04-13-2005 02:31 PM

svt03 i hope your kidding right? b/c if not part with u svt and just hand it over to me.

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